Gay Lea Foods fundraises to leverage $2.4 million for co-operatives in Rwanda
TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ – It’s called Co-op Week at Gay Lea Foods
and it carries a 12-year tradition. And by the time this year’s event
ended, the co-operative’s 650 employees had raised over $78,000 for a
group of small co-operatives in Rwanda.
For seven days at all Gay Lea locations, employees pay to participate
and compete in a range of activities, from nail driving to pie tossing,
waffle breakfasts to a silent auction, potlucks to Family Feud. They
also earned BINGO cards when signing up for bi-weekly payroll
deductions for the upcoming calendar year.
By the end of the week, they had raised over $78,000 towards their
four-year, $200,000 commitment to the Co-operative Development
Foundation to support agricultural co-operatives in Rwanda.
Matched 3:1 through CIDA, over the life of the project, funds raised
will leverage $800,000 for UGAMA, the local Rwandan partner who will
oversee the project.
But it doesn’t stop there. The board of directors has added $400,000
over four years from the co-operative itself, which when matched by
CIDA, will send an additional $1.6 million to the Rwandan project; some
22,000 families in rural areas will directly benefit from increased
food security and crop production.
“Gay Lea is proud of its 12-year history working through CDF and the
Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) to support co-operatives in the
international arena and at home in the Canadian Arctic,” says Chair
Michael Barrett, COO of Gay Lea Foods and president of CDF adds, “We
believe in the co-operative model; and, we are confident this model is
key to strengthening communities in need and paving the way for a
Rwanda, one of the world’s poorest countries, continues to re-build
after the political instability of the 1990s. Co-operatives, a
government-supported model for socio – economic development in Rwanda,
are working together to increase crop yields, and improve
infrastructure and access to larger markets.
About Gay Lea Foods
Gay Lea Foods is an Ontario co-operative with 1,200 members and 650
employees. It is a leader in the dairy industry, with its head office
in Mississauga and six production facilities across Ontario. Its
brands, Gay Lea, Nordica and Ivanhoe, have a strong presence in the
retail, foodservice and industrial ingredients sectors.
Since 1947, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) has
raised funds in support of co-operative and credit union development
programming to reduce global poverty, delivered in partnership with the
CCA. They also rally volunteers to bring time-tested co-operative
principles to developing countries.
CCA is a national association for co-operatives in Canada, representing
more than nine million co-operative and credit union members from over
2,000 organizations. Individual co-op members are represented by CCA
either directly through their co-operative, through their provincial
co-op association or credit union central, or through sector
organizations. CCA is itself a federally-incorporated co-operative,
owned by its member organizations.
SOURCE Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited
Video with caption: “Employees at Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited kicked off Co-op Week to raise funds for co-operatives in Rwanda. Over its 12-year history, this
week-long event has raised over $440,000 which when matched 3:1 by the
Canadian International Development Agency, has sent close to $1.8 million to co-operatives on three continents.”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20121115_C8291_VIDEO_EN_20704.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20704.jpg&clientName=Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20Co%2Doperative%20Limited&caption=Employees%20at%20Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20Co%2Doperative%20Limited%20kicked%20off%20Co%2Dop%20Week%20to%20raise%20funds%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda%2E%20Over%20its%2012%2Dyear%20history%2C%20this%0D%0Aweek%2Dlong%20event%20has%20raised%20over%20%24440%2C000%20which%20when%20matched%203%3A1%20by%20the%0D%0ACanadian%20International%20Development%20Agency%2C%20has%20sent%20close%20to%20%241%2E8%20million%20to%20co%2Doperatives%20on%20three%20continents%2E&title=GAY%20LEA%20FOODS%20CO%2DOPERATIVE%20LIMITED%20%2D%20Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20fundraises%20to%20leverage%20%242%2E4%20million%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda&headline=Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20fundraises%20to%20leverage%20%242%2E4%20million%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda
Image with caption: “Andrea Boileau and Zbigniew Ewertowski enjoy a waffle breakfast, a fundraising staple across all Gay Lea sites. The waffle mix and toppings are donated for the event by a proud supporter. (CNW Group/Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20702.jpg
Image with caption: “COO Mike Barrett adds spirit and laughter at a live auction inside the Ivanhoe Cheese store in Madoc, Ontario. Customers who happen to pop in often join in the bidding and the fun while they shop. (CNW Group/Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20700.jpg